As a California native, Antoinette Cleoni grew up watching her brother craft handmade turquoise jewelry. Her fascination with stones led her to pursue jewelry making. She graduated with a degree in Social Ecology from University of California at Irvine in 1983, and moved to northern California to pursue a career in social work.
When business interests took her to Chile, fate took over. She fell in love with the traditional silver and inlaid lapis lazuli jewelry produced in the region. Antoinette then began to import these pieces to the U.S. Encouraged by her success in this venture, she began working directly with the Chilean artisans. By incorporating different stones, such as malachite, turquoise, obsidian and rhodochrosite into the traditional Chilean designs, Acleoni Jewelry was born.